Sunday, September 28, 2014

Freezing Zucchini to use for bread all year long

When the garden is providing lots of zucchini I freeze a little for later. I shred the zucchini and let it drain for a few minutes to get any extra liquid out of it then freeze in zip top bags in what ever amounts you use in your favorite recipes. I use 2 cups of shredded zucchini in my zucchini bread so I freeze 2 cups in a bag. 

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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Adding Veggies to Your Breakfast

I will will tell you the truth, I am just not a breakfast person and would prefer dinner leftovers over breakfast food anytime. But I feel so much better and eat less during the day if I have a good breakfast without carbs. This is one of my favorites. 

I sautee what ever veggies I have on hand, pictured is green peppers, spinach, a little onion, carrots, and red cabbage. Once the the veggies are just starting to become tender then if I have any leftover chicken, steak etc I dice it up and throw it in the pot just until warm ( pictured is chicken).  Then I Scrabble with one egg the top with diced avocado and tomatoes if I have it.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Packing Lunches (reposted)

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These were pictures from the newspaper interview and my son would not eat everything in this picture. 
Packing your kids a healthy lunch is not hard but here are a few tips and tricks to make it more  fun for you while packing and more fun for your child when they open up their lunch boxes.  For me packing a lunch is a must since my son has food allergies, but I really want to know what he is eating, so even without the diet limits I would be packing a daily lunch.

Recently a friend of mine and I did an interview about school lunches for our local newspaper, some of the information in the article is not completely accurate so I wanted to share some more information and tips here. You can see part of the newspaper article HERE.

Tips to help with Mama (or  Daddy) guilt... 
* If you don't' have the want or time to pack a lunch IT IS FINE DON'T STRESS about it.
* Lunch is only ONE MEAL A DAY.
* A healthful breakfast and after school snack is the BEST way to help your child have a great day.
* Don't spend the time and money packing stuff they WON'T EAT. 
* Be willing to comprimise, which may mean finding a "better" option for your child's favorite treats.

When I asked my son what was the MOST important thing to him for his school lunch and his answer was "cool lunch box containers"  and I will list some of our favorites at the bottom of this post.  So here are a few our lunch box goodies.
There are ALL KINDS of accessories  to make the lunch more fun you can search amazon for Bento lunches and you will see ALL KINDS of things. But I keep an eye out at the dollar store and the dollar rack at target for cocktail forks and pick etc. 
Things to work HARD on keeping OUT of your child's lunch and diet in general -- these things are not good for anyone but also have been linked to behavior issues with children and who needs that while trying to work at school?
* High Fructose Corn Syrup
*NITRATES in lunch meat, bacon etc.
* artificial food colorings
Here are some Nitrate Free lunch meats that are easy on the budget 

The red circles are Baby Bell Cheese with some of the wax cut off. 
Kids LOVE to dip so I send homemade salsa, Hummus, and  Homemade Ranch Dressing, to dip whole grain chips and veggies in.
Half of  EVERY meal should be fruits and vegetables so lunch is no different so don't for those goodies in the lunch box either but remember send stuff they will actually eat. My son like raw spinach but he won't touch peppers or cauliflower. We use Juice Plus to help bridge the gap in all the fruits and veggies we should eat and what we actually get in daily since getting 7-13 servings a day is a feat for anyone.
Dried fruits, trail mix, and nuts (if allowed at your school) are also great to have on hand to fill in  with for lunches.
Healthy lunches can include "convenience" foods, fruit leathers, yogurt, apple sauces, real fruit snacks etc can make easy fill ins for the lunch as well. Just  try to buy items without loads of sugar, MSG, food colorings, etc.

A cocktail pick or toothpick and can wonders to make the lunch more fun. Fruits, veggies, cheese, chicken, shrimp, or lunch meat all go on very easy.
And you can pack a few lunches at a time so your not doing it daily.
salsa, and chips, fruit, and leftover grilled chicken and cheese with a little ranch dressing in a lettuce leaf. 

chicken & cheese, fresh fruit, hummus (in the what box) fresh veggies, dried fruit, a 100% juice box, and fruit snack. 

applesauce banana, shrimp & cherry tomatoes, carrots, pepper & Hummus.

Cheese stick wrapped in nitrate free turkey, trail mix, corn chips, sliced apple held together with a rubber band, and a few chocolate chips. 

cheese, veggies, chips, chicken, figs, fresh fruit, and hard boiled egg. 


Friday, July 18, 2014

Great Summer Breakfast or Lunch

This is my breakfast of lunch a LOT these days. It is Delicious and with fresh garden veggies (or from your local farmer's market) it is even better. For lunch I will add some Lime soaked onions, which are almost always in my fridge. This is a great easy way to add more vegetables to your diet.

So Fast and easy

1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 avocado sliced or diced
1 small cucumber sliced or diced
1 small tomato diced
salt and pepper to taste ( I if add the Lime onions I do not add salt)

That is it and it is SO REFRESHING

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Monday, July 7, 2014

Gluten Free Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins

 3 cups gluten free flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons Xanthan gum if your flour does not have it already in it. 
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups  sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup chocolate chips
I also put a sprinkle of brown sugar on top of each muffin before baking but that is optional. 

Grease  24 muffin tins.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix flour, salt, baking powder, soda, xanthan gum (if using), and cinnamon together.

Beat eggs, oil, and sugar together 

Add flour mixture  to the creamed mixture, and beat well.

Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips until well combined.  Pour batter into prepared pans.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until tester comes out clean

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Friday, July 4, 2014

Zucchini Bread

 2 cups of shredded zucchini
3 eggs
1 cup oil ( I use 1/2 coconut oil and half vegetable oil)
2 cups sugar
3 tsp cinnamon
3 cups flour 
1 tsp salt

1 tsp of baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup  pecans nuts, optional. 

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 loaf pans.

Mix flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon in a bowl.

Beat eggs, oil, and sugar together in a bowl.

Add in the flour mixture, slowly.

Once those ingredients are mixed well stir in zucchini and pecans. 

 Place in 2 pans and bake at 350 degrees for 40-50 minutes until a toothpick come out clean from the center of the loaf. 

I sprinkle the top with a few pecan pieces and a little brown sugar but you don't have too. 

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Parmesan Potato Wedges With a Kick

 These are super easy and SO delish. My husband thinks he needs potatoes at every meal and I am always looking for ways to mix things up a bit.  And these are a keeper.  This recipes serves 4.

6 large potatoes cut into wedges
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 Tablespoons Seasoning mix of your choice I used Our Burger and Fry Seasoning
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Throw everything into a plastic bag and shake until the wedges are coated well. Then empty the contents of the bag onto a roasting pan and spread the wedges out in one layer. Then bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes until the wedges are tender and the cheese begins to turn brown.

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Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cooking a Whole Country Ham

We had a Kentucky Derby Party this year as we normally do and I like to make Kentucky dishes for the races. This year I had a couple items that needed country ham so I bought a whole country ham. Most recipes for cooking a whole country ham include soaking it over night or boiling it to get some of the salt out, but I did not do that. We have a local hole in the wall restaurant that serves shredded country ham and I LOVE it so I wanted to do that for these dishes so I was not as concerned with the salty taste since when shredded you used less ham.

I Put the Whole ham in a roasting pan and covered the bottom of the pan with water. Then covered the whole thing in Foil. I baked the ham at 350 degrees until the ham reached 160 degrees internally, this took close to 4 hours for this ham. The above picture is of the ham once after it was cooked. I did not get pictures of the carving and shredding.

Once the ham cooked and cooled you need to debone and cut off the fat and outer skin of the ham. Below is what my ham looked like after that job was done. Then you can cut the ham however you like. I used a meat slicer and cut mine as thin as I could.

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Monday, June 9, 2014

Bruschetta Chicken (Slow Cooker)

This is a SUPER EASY meal in the slow cooker.  I will say it is not my favorite meal of all time but is a great go to in a pinch. If you have pasta and a jar of bruschetta topping in the pantry and some chicken this can be a meal for the day you forgot to meal plan for.

Frozen chicken tenders
Jar of bruschetta topping, enough to cover the amount of chicken you need (I used This)

Put chicken in bruschetta topping in the slow cooker on low for about 6 hours and serve over pasta and I topped with a little Parmesan cheese.

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